Monthly Archives: July 2017

“Stop order” on building work at Thorney Lakes

Thorney Lakes Lodges

Peterborough City Council has issued stop and enforcement orders at Thorney Lakes Golf Club to prevent further work.

The order came into effect on July 18 after two previous visits by city council planning offers.

In the first visit on June 14, officers found workmen laying hardcore and advised them that there was no planning permission and they should stop work. A follow-up visit  on June 28 found no further work had taken place.

However, since then, a concrete base has been laid and hardcore put down for other bases.

No planning application has been made for any development on the site, although the Thorney Lakes website has pictures of the lodges to be built, along with a sales hotline.

When the Thorney Post called the sales number quoted on the golf club website, we were told lodges would be available to buy soon and a show site was to be built.

We asked how many would be built we were told that depended on planning permission and when we asked where they would be, we were told we could visit the site and see the bases being laid for the first lodges.

The sales office told us the lodges were not residential and would be for leisure use only. There would be two-bedroom lodges retailing at around £150,000 and some with one bedroom at a later stage around the £100,000 mark.

Thorney Golf Course is owned by Neil Morgan, who owns a number of leisure facilities, including Tallington Lakes.

We have asked Mr Morgan for an interview or a statement and he has said he does not wish to comment.

The Thorney Lakes website, under the heading “Escape from everyday life at Thorney Lakes” says:

“At Thorney Lakes you can choose from our extensive range of luxury lifestyle lodges with stunning views. Taking a tour around one of our individually designed show homes proves just how attractive countryside living can be. As well as a stylish interior with every modern convenience, each home is set in its own generous plot with plenty of room for outside living – we also help you to make the most of your outdoor space with our free design service.

“Located in beautiful countryside you will feel like you have escaped to a new world. Where the pace of life is slower and you can relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of your surroundings. An ideal place for golf lovers or for people looking for a retreat that is a haven of tranquility. A place where you can relax and enjoy the company of family and friends.”

Thorney WI keen to attract new members

Veronica Hewins (web)

Thorney Plus WI membership has fallen to around 20 people and the group is keen to attract new women to their meetings.

They meet on the first Tuesday of each month at 10.15am at the Bedford Hall. There’s a different speaker or activity each month and also opportunities to visit other Women’s Institute groups around the region.

Next month (August) the normal meeting will take the form of afternoon tea, served from 2pm to 4.30pm in the Bedford Hall with a charge of £2 and, in September, the meeting will be held in the evening (7.30pm, also at Bedford Hall). More evening meetings may be held if the idea is popular. The group also has its own Facebook page, just search for “Thorney Plus WI”.

September speaker is Veronica Hewins (pictured), a former convenience store owner who now talks on life in India and Indian cooking in particular.

In October, there’s a talk by Les Green of Deeping Fudge, who set up a business with his wife making fudge 13 years ago; and in November, Margaret Hope (one of the club members) will demonstrate flower arranging.

Tea, coffee and cakes are always on offer and visitors can pay £2 to come along to see if they like it. Annual subs are £39 to cover all meetings.

“A lot of people think we’re just a load of old diddies, and a lot of us are,” laughed secretary Judy Epton,“ but we enjoy the talks and the company and it would be great to see more people come along, especially younger women as they are the ones who will keep the club going in future.”

“A friendly welcome is guaranteed and if people want more information, they can call me on 270704 or e-mail”

There’s a serious side to the Women’s Institute as well. After the Manchester terrorist murders, WI groups from the city came forward to help and the organisation also supports women’s education, with Denman College, its own institution. Across the UK, more than 200,000 women belong to the WI.

“We are engaged in lots of things happening in the village,” said Judy. “We’ve done Open Farm Sunday and we’ll be helping with the Thorney Abbey Flower Festival and the Solomon Islands charity.”

Recent activities included a visit to Willow Brook Farm, Helpston to make pork pies; also talks on forensic science and family history. Members visited Whittlesey WI for its birthday evening and were entertained by the fantastic Upwood Ukulele Band; also Tydd St Giles WI for its Strawberry prom, with entertainment from King’s Lynn town band and The Isle of Ely WI choir.

On September 20 it’s WI Day and retired royal protection officer Peter Lawrence is giving a talk at March Community Centre on London villains and royalty entitled “From the Krays to the Crown” and in October, there’s a talk at Wisbech St Mary for Federation Day by Mandy Hickson an RAF fast jet pilot.


Overnight road closures on Parkways

Work to resurface the northbound carriageway of Nene Parkway (A1260), between Hampton roundabout and Thorpe Wood roundabout, begins on Wednesday, 19 July.

The main works are expected to last until mid-August and will result in weekday overnight northbound closures between 8pm and 6am. Preliminary works have already taken place on some slip roads.

During the works the road will be open as usual during the day, however there will be a temporary speed limit of 40mph.

As part of the overall resurfacing works the eastbound on-slip at junction 3 of the Fletton Parkway (from Hampton roundabout) will be closed overnight (8pm to 6am) tonight (14 July) and Monday and Tuesday next week (17/18 July). While this closure is on there will be a diversion in place.

Last year the southbound section of the Nene Parkway was resurfaced. Once completed the new parkway surfaces are expected to last for at least 15 years before they need doing again.

In addition to the resurfacing works on Nene Parkway, the council will also be upgrading street lighting as part of the city-wide programme to install LED lighting. These works will continue until October and will also take place overnight, but will generally only result in lane closures, not full carriageway closures.

Housing site opposed by Parish Council

Housing site

Another new housing estate has been proposed in the village, but it has already met with opposition from the Parish Council.

Fields between the windmill and the bypass have been suggested to Peterborough City Council as suitable for building 115 new homes.

This followed four tranches of land in and around the village being suggested last year. Of those, only one – a section of land between Larkfleet’s Thorney Meadows estate and the approved Park Farm development – has been accepted as suitable.

The city council had asked landowners to put forward development land in the area as part of its Draft Local Plan, which aims to meet Peterborough’s housing and employment needs through to 2036.

The first set of suggestions has all been assessed, but more came through during the summer, along with a number of sites with revised proposals. These will be assessed before November and the final Local Plan will be adopted in autumn 2018.

Currently farmland, the new site in Thorney comprises 6.16 hectares and it is suggested that 115 houses could be built there. The land includes a section between the windmill and old garden centre, which could be used as access onto The Causeway. Its eastern border adjoins gardens of houses in Chestnut Drive, Ash Close and Berberis Close.

Thorney Parish Council considered the suitability of the new site at its July meeting and voted to reject it on the following grounds:

  • It is in the high-flood-risk zone.
  • The site is best retained as greenfield, agricultural land.
  • The quota for new housing in the village has more than adequately been met.
  • Existing infrastructure is not capable of meeting the demands of additional development. There is insufficient water pressure at the new Woburn Drive development and, in particular, a concern that the village school may not have sufficient capacity.

The Parish Council said if further development in the village was needed in the future, they would support the site between Whittlesey Road and the Larkfleet estate, which the city council has previously rejected.

There are some very big new sites submitted in other parts of the city. One near Castor proposes 2,500 dwellings. There are two sites in Newborough and a couple in Eye.

Sky-dive raises cash for air ambulance


Louise Cade has raised over £2,000 for the Magpas Air Ambulance, the emergency service that helped save her life 23 years ago.

Louise (32), whose family farm along New Cut and English Road, completed a sky-dive on Saturday, conquering her fear of flying to make the charity jump.

Louise and her sister Sally were both pupils at the Duke of Bedford School in 1994. They were coming home on the school bus, on what had been just another normal school day. Six-year-old Sally and eight-year-old Louise got off the bus on New Cut and waited for it to pull away. They held hands, looked both ways and were crossing the road when a car – seemingly out of nowhere – collided with them at high speed.

“My mum got to us as soon as she could,” said Louise. “My sister Sally and I were lying in the road. My mother says Sally was smiling at her, whilst I was unconscious.”

Back in the 1990s, doctors from around the Eastern Region volunteered their own time with Magpas and as result; Dr Simon Richards, Dr Andrew Knights and Dr Nick Jackson (who all worked at Thorney Medical Practice) were called out to try to help Sally and Louise.

Sally was first to be taken to hospital in an ambulance (with a police escort), shortly followed by Louise, with Magpas Doctors on board both vehicles. Sally and Louise died several times en route, but the Magpas doctors repeatedly brought them back to life.

Once at the hospital, Sally and Louise were next to each other in the ICU being treated. Louise explains, “Sally was on a ventilator but sadly died from head trauma and organ failure two days later.”

Louise suffered a collapsed lung, a serious head injury and multiple broken bones, as well as a stroke. She says: “My family tells me I died several times and was not expected to survive. The last time I died, everyone thought I had gone when suddenly I came back – gasping for air, trying to rip the ventilator tubes out of me.”

Louise has lost most of her memory of what life was like before the accident. She explains, “It’s really upsetting I can’t remember much about Sally, who was my best friend and I miss dearly – but the motivation, determination and strength to live on has made me the person I am today.”

Louise, now works as payroll manager for Elliott, and feels ready to talk about that horrific day for the first time. She wants the memory of her sister Sally to live on and to raise awareness for Magpas who came to her rescue all those years ago.

She did an assembly on road safety and the work of Magpas at the Duke of Bedford School back in April and the jump took place last weekend.

“I want the children to take on the message of road safety and stay safe. I hope the children take this on board and tell their parents – so that they can be more aware of children on the road. I know that we looked left and right, but we didn’t see the car. I told the children to look again and keep looking and listening.”

The sky-dive took place at Sibson and should have been quite an ordeal for someone who has a fear of flying. “I am actually terrified of flying,” said Louise, “but I was determined to do it. The sad thing is I have no memories from before the accident and I can’t remember my sister, who was my best friend. In the plane, getting ready to jump, I thought about her and that gave me the courage to do it.

“Once we were outside, the adrenaline kicked in and it was fantastic. The views were amazing.

“I am now thinking about what I might do next year to try to raise more money for Magpas and we’re wondering about wing-walking!”

Louise is hoping to raise more than £2,000 to help keep the Magpas service running and she’s had a great response from the village. Her fundraising page can be seen at: and it will stay open for another three months. For people who don’t have internet access, there are collection boxes at The Lovely Little Tearoom and Thorney Medical Practice and cheques payable to “Magpas Air Ambulance” can also be dropped off there.

You can see a video of Louise’s jump at:

Still waiting for Bedford Hall proposal

Bedford Hall

The future of a Thorney landmark and key village amenity remained unclear as the Thorney Post went to press, with the parish council and the hall’s management committee still waiting for a formal proposal from Peterborough City Council.

The city council wants to transfer ownership (and responsibility) for the Bedford Hall to the village, but there is concern that very expensive repairs and renovation work may be needed.

Peterborough City Council also wants to sell the old community centre and library buildings in Church Street and has agreed to use some of that money to move the library and undertake needed repairs to the Bedford Hall.

The Bedford Hall, with its distinctive tower, was built by the Duke of Bedford as a key part of the model village project. The tower once housed a huge water tank which supplied running water to homes and the basement contained steam engines used to pump water from Thorney River into the tank. The building also contained workshops for local craftsmen and businesses.

Now, it is the villages meeting hall, a venue for weddings, village events and houses the Thorney Heritage Museum. There are two large rooms at the back of the building which are unused and one of those is earmarked as the location for Thorney Library.

At a meeting in April, Caroline Rowan, Communities Estates Manager at the city council said they expected to get up to £250,000 from the sale of the library and former community centre in Church Street.

The council has offered to give this money to the village to help with the upkeep of the Bedford Hall, but want to use some of it to make repairs to the building and to move the library. They have also promised to use some of the cash to help Thorney Football Club build a new pavilion in the park.

It is estimated it will cost between £60,000 and £150,000 to move the library, depending upon the specification of its new location; there’s an estimated £101,000 which needs to be spent on repairs to Bedford Hall; and the council has promised the football club £20,000.

The council presented a document detailing estimated costs of repairs to the Bedford Hall and Bill van Driessche of the hall’s management committee felt some of the charges quoted were way too high.

Russ Bevington of Thorney Parish Council thought the survey undertaken by the city council was missing key elements. “It states that some areas could not be accessed and that other issues needed further investigation.

“We know the museum is subsiding at the rear and suffers from damp in places, but there is no mention of this in the report. The whole building needs to be fixed in full before the parish takes it on.”

Mr Bevington asked the council to provide a fully costed schedule of work, including repairs that would need to be undertaken immediately, those within the next two years and those that would require repair longer term.

Caroline Rowan said the cost of a new pavilion for Thorney FC was estimated at £250,000. She said grants were available from various bodies, including the Football Association, but some seed funding would be required in order to be eligible to apply for these. She estimated that £20,000 would get them on the ladder.

She has asked the Parish Council and Bedford Hall Management Committee to form a working party to take discussions forward. In the meantime, the council has promised to fit CCTV to deter vandalism. Youths have broken windows and climbed onto the roof at the rear of the building, damaging tiles and gutters.

Bill van Driessche asked if the parish could form its own building company to commission work. “We have lots of craftsmen in the village who would be able to undertake repair and maintenance work and we could do it much more efficiently ourselves.”

Steve Allen, one of three city councillors representing Eye, Thorney and Newborough, said that ongoing costs would have to be met by revenue generated by the Bedford Hall. He wondered if the library and post office could be combined.

Since April, little has happened. The full structural survey has not taken place and the village is waiting for a formal proposal.

At its meeting on July 10, the parish council was told that the proposal would be arriving soon and that a specialist company would undertake the survey. Steve Allen, one of Thorney’s representatives on the city council, said there was a degree of frustration that the process was taking so long, but Russ Bevington of Thorney PC said that the village was no pushing for this to happen and, in many respects, the longer it took, the better it was.

John Bartlett, chairman of Thorney Parish Council, said that at the end of the day, the final decision whether or not to take on responsibility for Bedford Hall would have to be put to the village in a referendum.

A small working party has been set up to liaise with council sub-contractors regarding plans to move the library. It will comprise Jeff Bellamy (vice-chair of the Bedford Hall management committee), John Bartlett and Russ Bevington (both Thorney Parish Council).

Thorney Life photo competition

Thorney Dyke
Do you have any photos depicting Thorney Life?
As part of the annual Thorney Fun Day, the organisers, Fenlands Family Church, are staging a photographic competition and want to see images which depict life in Thorney.
These could be anything from views of the village to people working or playing. It’s a deliberately wide brief to stimulate your imagination.
To enter, all you have to do is send a .jpg image to It doesn’t matter if you have a smartphone or a fancy camera, it’s the end result we want to see.
Photos will be displayed at the Bedford Hall on August 19, when the Thorney Fun Day is staged by the Fenlands Family Church.
Judging will take place on the day with prizes for the winners.  There are two classes for entrants: photographs taken by entrants under 21 years and photographs taken by entrants over 21 years.
The best photos will be featured in the December edition of the Thorney Post and there will be a small treat for the winners.

Store raid – men arrested and charged

2017-07-11 09.31.07

Three men have been arrested and charged in connection with burglary and car theft in Thorney and other areas.

The men were charged on Friday, just a week after the break-in at Thorney Food Stores and have been remanded in custody.

Charges related to the theft of cars in Thorney, also domestic burglary and the break in at the village stores, when the front door was smashed with a sledgehammer and residents who tried to intervene were threatened with violence.

The men took goods and cash and escaped in an Audi TT stolen a few days earlier from a home in Chestnut Drive.

Other charges related to similar incidents in Wisbech, Whittlesey, Peterborough. Wisbech St Mary and Emneth.

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